State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families
Tool | November 2021

Pennsylvania State Tax Guide for Middle-Class Families

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, gas, property, cigarette, and other taxes that impact middle-class families.


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The Bottom Line
Flag of Pennsylvania

Not Tax-Friendly

For an East Coast, original 13-colonies state, Pennsylvania's state income taxes aren't very high at a flat 3.07%. However, most cities and towns in Pennsylvania tack on their own local income tax (school districts, too). Property taxes are also high, but the Keystone State's modest 6% sales tax is all that's due, except in Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, and in Philadelphia.

Income Tax Range

Pennsylvania has a flat rate of 3.07%. Municipalities and school districts can also impose taxes on wages or income.

Sales Tax

6% state levy. Philadelphia has a local sales tax of an additional 2%, and Allegheny County (Pittsburgh's home county) adds a local sales tax of 1%. The combined average state and local rate is 6.34%, according to the Tax Foundation.

Groceries: Exempt
Clothing: Exempt
Motor Vehicles: Taxable
Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Real Property Taxes

In Pennsylvania, the median property tax rate is $1,556 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: 58.7¢ per gallon.
Diesel: 75.2¢ per gallon.

Sin Taxes

Cigarettes and little cigars: $2.60 per pack (Philadelphia levies an additional $2 local tax per pack of cigarettes)
Other tobacco products: 55 cents per ounce (additional taxes due in Philadelphia)
Vapor products: 40% of wholesale price

Beer: $0.08 per gallon
Wine: No excise tax on in-store sales
Liquor: $7.41
Pennsylvania directly controls the distribution and sale of wine and liquor. Liquor tax is an estimate by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and published by the Tax Foundation.

Annual Car Taxes and Fees

No annual vehicle tax or fee is imposed.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

Pennsylvania has an inheritance tax, but it doesn't apply to property inherited by the decedent's spouse, parents (if the decedent is age 21 or younger), or child age 21 or younger. The tax is imposed at a 4.5% rate for the decedent's parents (except if the decedent is 21 years old or younger), grandparents, lineal descendants, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law. The rate is 12% for people who inherit property from a sibling and 15% for all other heirs. A 5% discount is allowed if the tax is paid within three months of the decedent's death.